It’s that time again – time to determine my goals and create my 2015 Dream Board. Last year I didn’t create a Dream Board. I’ve been asking myself why for the past 12 months. Only after I sat down and took the time to reflect on what’s important to me for next year’s goals did I realize the answer. I believe it’s because I’ve been in a holding pattern – not knowing whether to pursue my business or to give myself permission to play. Having worked most of my teenage years and all my adult life I still find it hard to just let loose and play.
I know goals make a difference. They keep me focused and give me the determination, commitment and passion to accomplish them. If I keep my goals in my head they simply don’t happen. I can walk from one end of the house to the other and forget why I’m there. Goals help me:
- Determine a sense of meaning, purpose and direction
- Gain clarity and decide what’s important
- Determine what’s important versus what’s relevant
- Achieve more and keep focused
- Increase my motivation to succeed
- Improve my self-confidence
I put on my favorite music, let my mind wander sat down with pen and paper to write down my goals for next year. It was really, really, really hard to restrict my goals only to play and not include any professional goals. I’m happy to tell you – I DID IT! My 2015 Dream Board is all about PLAY:
- Practice kindness and pay it forward
- Celebrate my 35th wedding anniversary in Nashville
- Emerge myself in music and concerts
- See shows at the Grand Ole Opry
- Attend concerts – George Strait, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
- Travel and explore new places – Yellowstone and Mount St. Helens
- Reconnect and spend time with my siblings and parents
- Attend my 40th high school reunion & visit with girlfriends
- Host stamping workshops and make new friendships
- Be happily healthy – YMCA & Weight Watchers
I took my goals and creativity to make this year’s Dream Board. I use the word dream not goal, because my dreams are my purpose in life. Some people also refer to this as Treasure Mapping. I create a colorful, visual representation of my dreams and goals for the year. Because I’m a very visual person, I use pictures and quotes along with rubber stamps and stickers. I arrange all of this on a large poster board and glue it down. My Dream Board hangs in my dressing area where I look at it each morning and evening. It’s powerful. I know setting positive intentions attracts positive outcomes in my life.
If you’re ready to determine your goals, you might begin by:
- Reading Goals! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
- Taking time to get quiet and reflect on your goals
- Making an appointment to meet with a life coach
If you plan to make your goals financially related, here are some suggestions:
- Set a goal to become debt free. Start by making up your mind not to incur any more debt. Leave your credit card at home. Next, summarize your credit card debt, including the balance, interest rate and minimum payment due. Call your creditors to request a lower interest rate. Pay more than the minimum on each account. Once an account is paid off, take the extra money and pay it towards another credit card.
- Track your spending for 30 days. Whenever you spend money, write down how much you spent and what you spent it on. Summarize your purchases to determine where you can reduce your spending. I guarantee you’ll find something you’re spending more money on than you thought.
- Organize your financial records. Purge last year’s financial records and get organized for the upcoming year. Get your shredder out and shred old receipts, bills and paperwork. I rearrange my financial records, business records and so on. Next purchase a two-drawer file cabinet and some folders.
- Determine your net worth, which is the value of your assets minus your liabilities. Summarize your assets and liabilities, including the account number, name and contact information of each institution.
- Open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or increase the amount you’re currently contributing to an existing IRA. In 2015 you can contribute $5,500 annually if you are under age 50 or $6,500 if you are age 50 or older. Determine the amount you can afford to contribute. Set up an automatic deduction from your paycheck or bank account.
- Make an appointment with an attorney to prepare a will and durable power of attorney. Approximately 70% of Americans don’t have a will, which means the state determines how their assets will be distributed and their children’s guardian.
- Establish a contingency fund for unexpected, irregular or emergency expenses. To prevent yourself from “dipping” into the account, open it in a financial institution that’s not easily accessible. Set up automatic deductions from your paycheck or bank account. If necessary begin with a small amount, but strive to have a balance of three to six month’s worth of living expenses.
- Read a book, start a book club, join an investment club; attend a financial conference; take a class on money, etc.
- Don’t wait another minute, schedule time for yourself to determine your goals for 2015.
Remember – write them down and be sure to include a targeted completion date. “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Diana Scharf Hunt